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Peter Dandridge

Long time Sugarbush Soaring Association pilot Peter Dandridge passed away last October after a brief illness. Peter was one of the club's early pilots, and he came to us with considerable experience already in hand. Peter was born in England, as anyone who heard him speak would know, and served during World War II as a member of the Combined Operations Force in the Royal Navy. He came to the U.S. in 1960.

A metallurgist by trade, he and his wife, Peggy, owned and ran Atomic Limited in Cambridge, and did work for academic and government institutions. Peter and Peggy gave unstintingly of their time for club activities, and in the soaring world in general over many years, and produced for us a couple of memorable pig roasts as well as many other fine social events. Peter flew a Grob Astir with great skill. We will especially remember his wonderful subtle sense of humor.

Tony Lauck passed on this comment that gives a good insight into Peggy and Peter .."I first met Peter Dandridge at Franconia, New Hampshire, in 1976. A few months earlier I had purchased a 1-26 and decided to go to the mountains to see if the flying was better than in the greater Boston area. I was staying at a lodging house that had been recommended by a soaring pilot. When I arrived at the lodging house the owner told me that I was free to use the kitchen to cook breakfast, but that proved not to be the case. Before I could barely turn the stove on the next morning, I was thrown out of the kitchen by a woman with an English accent, and told to sit down in the dining room and that breakfast would be served to all the glider people. That was how I met Peggy, and a minute later, Peter."

Peter was also known for the creation of two trophies, beautiful metal sculptures of birds, that are still in active use in U.S. Soaring. In unfortunate accidents during soaring contests, two pilots were killed. In honor of these pilots, Peter made two trophies. The David Shapiro trophy is awarded for the best overall performance in the Region One Contest. The Ron Hatcher trophy, SSA's highest competitive award, is given for the best overall performance in U.S. National Championships.

Peter is survived by his wife Peggy, his daughter Lori Cunningham, his sons Jonathan and Peter, and six grandchildren.

-Bob Messner

Posted: 5/8/2007

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